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100 Watts. That’s all it takes to run these energy-saving storage appliances.

It’s been said lately that along with death and taxes, life’s only other certainty is an ever-increasing need for power in the data center. Whilst the march of power-hungry GPUs has started to sound more like a thundering herd, the adoption of hyper-converged appliances and our ever-increasing compute requirements has left us using more power than ever. In doing so, creating even more heat that needs to be cooled. Across the globe, data centers are tackling these issues in a variety of ways from increased internal temperatures to exotic Scandinavian locations. But what if we didn’t need to create the heat in the first place?

Phil Straw, our CTO explains, “At SoftIron, we never started with a computer, we started with media, because for storage, the most important thing is getting data in and out of the media. The SoftIron HyperDrive™ family of products is all built around an ARM™ 64-bit SoC architecture. You’ll know ARM as the leader in mobile phone low power SoCs.”

It’s this heritage in low power consumption that sets ARM apart from its x86 counterparts in the data center, and it’s how we can confidently claim that our 120 Terabyte storage appliance uses just 100 Watts under full network speed read/write loads.

“A media first approach means that cool air is sucked in from the front of the appliance, passing directly over the media, reducing MTBF by up to 25%. The ARM SoC acts as an I/O pump, pushing data from the network interface to the media and pulling it right out back onto the network when needed. It does all this without any active cooling. The chassis fans provide enough airflow to whisk away the heat from the sparsely populated motherboard and out the rear of the chassis.”

In head to head comparative testing, we’ve seen significant performance increases over dual-socketed x86 based appliances, impressive results considering that the entire appliance uses less than 25% of the power of its competitor.

Just another way we’re doing things differently here at SoftIron.